This morning The Strong's World Video Game Hall of Fame revealed four new inductees, and I'm personally delighted to announce that Final Fantasy VII has been nominated, alongside Tomb Raider, John Madden Football, and Spacewar! These four games "emerged from a field of 12 finalists that also included Asteroids, Call of Duty, Dance Dance Revolution, Half-Life, King's Quest, Metroid, Minecraft, and Ms. Pac-Man. The four inductees span multiple decades, countries of origin, and gaming platforms, but all have significantly affected the video game industry, popular culture, and society in general."
If you grew up in the 90s, then you know that Final Fantasy VII's induction is belated, if anything. It was the first Final Fantasy game to utilize 3D graphics, and one of the first games period to use extensive, computer-generated cut-scenes in order to move the story along. A world-class score, complex characters, and an incredible breadth of gameplay experiences all came together to take players on a unique journey, the likes of which had never been seen before. Final Fantasy VII was almost solely responsible for ushering JRPGs into the Western mainstream.
Your author is slow-clapping and wiping a tear of vindication from his eye, but Final Fantasy VII wasn't the only game recognized today. Strong's World Video Game Hall of Fame offered up congratulatory homages to each inductee. Check it out:
Tomb Raider: "Combining the best elements of action-adventure games with platform games and puzzle-solving, Tomb Raider (1996) provided gamers with a unique cinematic 3-D universe, leading-edge graphics, and a female protagonist who remains an iconic figure in gaming. Largely thanks to the character of Lara Croft, and Angelina Jolie's theatrical portrayal of her in a blockbuster movie, Tomb Raider enjoys a widespread appeal among gamers and non-gamers alike, and currently heads a franchise that has sold more than 58 million units worldwide.
John Madden Football: "Electronic Arts redefined the modern sports video game with its 1990 reboot of John Madden Football. The new game moved beyond its sports game predecessors that emphasized statistical modeling, transforming the virtual gridiron into an action game that thrived on individual confrontations between virtual players. The game created a pop cultural phenomenon that has sold more than 100 million copies since its debut."
Spacewar!: "Steve 'Slug' Russell, a member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Tech Model Railroad Club, worked with others at MIT to create Spacewar! in 1962 on a PDP-1 minicomputer. The game featured two starships firing torpedoes at each other, and its competitive aspects helped it to spread from computer center to computer center across the globe. This early video game inspired the first mass-market arcade video game, Atari founder Nolan Bushnell's Computer Space."